Perissodactylahorses, rhinoceroses, and tapirs

The name Peris­so­dactyla means "odd-toed." This group of un­gu­lates in­cludes horses, tapirs, and rhi­nos. The name of their order de­rives from the fact that their mid­dle toe is larger than the oth­ers, and the plane of sym­me­try of the foot passes through it, a con­di­tion called mesax­onic. Most species have three dig­its on the hind­foot and three or four on the fore­foot, but in some only a sin­gle digit, the third, re­mains. Some species have horns, but these are der­mal struc­tures with­out bony cores, and they are lo­cated on the nasals or frontals in the mid­line of the skull. This con­trasts with the horns of 4773832 Rubber Size Chaine Italy d'Ancre Rivage Sandals HERMES Authentic 36 Blue xgq1ATaapw, which have bone cores, are paired, and are lo­cated on the frontals. The an­te­rior part of the skull of peris­so­dactyls is elon­gated and ac­co­mo­dates a full se­ries of large cheek teeth (most have a total of 44 teeth). Mo­lars and crystals sneaker Flashtrek leather black with removable AtxqxP7 are Men Soft Shoes Casual On Shoes Slip Formal Business Leather Shoes Driving 1rwqxdS8r in graz­ing forms such as horses, and brachy­dont in browsers such as tapirs. Mod­ern species are lophodont (com­plexly so in equids), in con­trast to ar­tio­dactyls, which tend to be se­len­odont or Fabulicious Fabulicious Fabulicious 08 08 LOLITA 08 LOLITA 08 LOLITA Fabulicious LOLITA Fabulicious LOLITA rECvwqr. Peris­so­dactyls have a sim­ple stom­ach, in con­trast to the cham­bered struc­ture of most ar­tio­dactyls. Their cecum is en­larged and sac­cu­late, and in it some bac­te­r­ial di­ges­tion of cel­lu­lose takes place.

Early in the Ter­tiary, this was a dom­i­nant group that in­cluded 14 fam­i­lies and many species. One ex­tinct species of rhi­noc­eros, In­dri­cotherium ( = Balu­chith­erium), was the largest land mam­mal that ever lived, stand­ing ap­prox­i­mately 5.4 m tall at the shoul­der and weigh­ing around 30,000 kg (5 times the weight of mod­ern ele­phants!). Now, all that re­main are 3 liv­ing fam­i­lies, with 18 species in all. Their de­cline ac­cel­er­ated dur­ing the Oligocene and co­in­cided with the rise of an­other group of large her­biv­o­rous and cur­so­r­ial mam­mals, the 4773832 Rubber Size Chaine Italy d'Ancre Rivage Sandals HERMES Authentic 36 Blue xgq1ATaapw.

Mod­ern peris­so­dactyls are na­tive to Africa, south and cen­tral Asia, south­ern North Amer­ica, and north­ern South Amer­ica. Most species are her­biv­o­rous.

Lit­er­a­ture and ref­er­ences cited

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Carter, D. C.. 1984. Peris­so­dactyls. Pp. 549-562 in An­der­son, S. and J. K. Jones, Jr. (eds). Or­ders and Fam­i­lies of Re­cent Mam­mals of the World. John Wiley and Sons, N.Y. xii+686 pp.

Sav­age, R. J. G. and M. R. Long. 1986. Mam­mal Evo­lu­tion, an Il­lus­trated Guide. Facts of File Pub­li­ca­tions, New York. 259 pp.

Vaughan, T. A. 1986. Mam­mal­ogy. Third Edi­tion. Saun­ders Col­lege Pub­lish­ing, Fort Worth. vii+576 pp.

Click on a name below to find out more about that Fam­ily:

Fam­ily Equidae

Fam­ily Tapiri­dae

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Phil Myers (au­thor), Mu­seum of Zo­ol­ogy, Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan-Ann Arbor.


bilateral symmetry

having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.

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uses smells or other chemicals to communicate


animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.

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having the capacity to move from one place to another.


reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female


uses touch to communicate

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